Success Of Free D&D Online Leads To Free Lord Of The Rings Online, Too

from the good-to-see dept

Slashdot points us to the news that Turbine is now planning to offer their Lord of the Rings Online as free to play starting this fall. This follows last year's decision to turn Dungeons and Dragons online into a free offering, which actually resulted in a massive increase in revenue. Nice to see them expanding this to other areas.

What may be more interesting here is that this decision comes soon after Warner Bros. (the studio) bought Turbine. Warner Bros., as a movie studio, isn't exactly known for embracing "free," so it's nice to see that they're actually okay with expanding this program. Maybe they'll actually learn something to take back into the other parts of the business...
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Filed Under: business models, d&d, free, lord of the rings, online games
Companies: turbine, warner bros.

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  1. icon
    DataShade (profile), 7 Jun 2010 @ 6:44am

    Re: DDO and free to play

    I'm actually concerned that pushing LoTRO free-to-play might be too greedy. DDO is a series of "social hubs" with self-contained, strictly delineated dungeons linked off of those hubs; the game breaks very well into a free "core" and separate, paid-for, "adventure packs."

    My experiences with LoTRO indicate that's not as easily translated into the same FTP model, which is pretty readily apparent when you look at the proposed, "beta" plan for the VIP (current subscriber)/Premium (former sub, or cash-purchaser)/Free tiers. LoTRO leaves a lot more limited, even at Premium, than DDO does. One of the big draws for DDO is that once you buy enough content, you're almost indistinguishable from a subscriber.

    LoTRO, not so much: gold? limited; chat? limited; auction? limited; mail? limited; crafting guild? limited; destiny points? limited.

    Let me be clear. I think this is going to be a success. However, I don't think WB/Turbine's going to come anywhere close to repeating their 500% miracle. The MMO market is pretty saturated when it comes to fantasy games, so hopefully "500% or more" is not the benchmark for success.

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